However, following a serious health scare last year he's been much more health concious and I want to be supportive of any positive lifestyle changes.
The next day I spent a good few hours researching vegan recipes, devising a meal plan and putting in an on-line food order. Meanwhile I managed to whip up a vegan swede & coconut dahl from the contents of my freezer and cupboards for that night's dinner.
I presented the dahl to my husband when he arrived home from work (how very 50s housewife!) which he greatly enjoyed and was chuffed when I told him that I had a week's worth of healthy vegan meals lined up for us. I then asked him what he'd had for his lunch. His answer? Chicken Kiev.
Chicken bloody Kiev.
At this point I realised that more gentle introduction into animal-produce-free eating might be more practical so I headed over to Amazon to find myself a new vegetarian cook book (any excuse to get a new cookery book!).
|The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from my Parisian Kitchen |
by Clotilde Desoulier
So far I've made the following recipes and here's what I thought:
I struggle with lunches - I just want something quick and easy but also healthy, so I tend to batch cook soup and freeze it in individual portions to whip out when I'm hungry. I thought that the Softly Spiced Carrot and Almond Soup would be perfect for this so I dusted off my blender and set about knocking up a vat.
|Softly Spiced Carrot and Almond Soup|
For me the difference between home-cooking and restaurant quality food is the level of seasoning - just a few extra twist of the salt & pepper cellar can make all the difference. I have the terrible habit of not tasting the food I'm cooking before I season it and usually go to town with the seasoning (luckily I've had very few bad experiences so far), however I resisted the lure of the condiment cupboard whilst making this soup and I found that the seasoning was spot on. I've also found this to be the case in all of the other recipes I've made so I would strongly suggest that you taste before adding any additional salt or pepper to any of the dishes in this book.
Anyway, back to the soup. Its a really quite unusual mix of flavours for a savoury dish - I don't think I've ever put vanilla in a soup before! It was tasty and a good consistency (I was worried that it was going to be too runny when I added the almond milk), although I'm not sure that I was over keen on the vanilla and therefore if I do make this again I'll probably leave that out.
|Chunky Garlic Croutons|
|Eggplant and Fresh Herb Tabbouleh|
Again, one of the reasons that I was drawn to the Eggplant (aubergine) and Fresh Herb Tabbouleh was that Ms. Desoulier promised that it kept well and would be good for lunches later in the week. She was half right - Mr. Forcella took such a liking to this dish that he took the leftovers to work the next day for his lunch! I'll make more next time... Speaking of which, next time I think I might add a couple of spoonfuls of pomegranate seeds as I like a little bit of sweetness with my cous cous.
|Shocking Pink Pasta|
Who could resist trying out a recipe called "Shocking Pink Pasta"? Not me. I discovered beetroot last year when I bought Gwyneth Paltrow's cook book It's All Good but usually have it in salads. This recipe was ridiculously easy to make and really quite stunning to look at. It was also pretty tasty, however of all the dishes I've made so far I'd say that this is the one I'm least likely to make again.
|Green Bean, Red Rice and Almond Salad|
When I made the almond butter, cider vinegar (I used white wine vinegar) and olive oil dressing for this recipe I thought I might be digging out a curry from the freezer for dinner as it smelt quite strange, however as I'd already made everything else I continued and boy, am I glad I did.
This dish probably looks the most unappetising of all of the meals I've made this week, but without doubt it is the tastiest. Neither me nor the Mr. could get enough of the nutty, savoury yumminess. Highly recommended!!
The recipes in this book are ordered seasonally and while I tried to cook only from "l'ete" section, I did stray in to "le printemps" for the soup and "l'automne" for the leeks and beetroot pasta. I'm really excited about some of the other autumn and winter recipes and I think I'll do another post on these later in the year.
The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from my Parisian Kitchen by Clotilde Desoulier is currently £12.59 at Amazon